Moving home is frequently cited as one of the most stressful things you can do in life. Two thirds of voters in a recent poll stated that moving house was top of their stress list. This caused more anxiety than relationship breakdowns, divorce and new job starts.
One of the most common reasons for moving homes is to downsize your property. Britain is currently in the midst of a ‘downsizing boom’, with many of these being elderly people looking for a smaller home. Moving home for elderly people can be especially stressful. “Sometimes, moving from a place that has been home for many years – with all the happy memories that come with it – can be traumatic,” say AnyVan in their guide for elderly movers.
With the stresses that come with the process, whether you are either downsizing yourself or helping an elderly relative, here’s how to downsize without any downsides.
Sorting out possessions to throw away
Deciding what possessions you should throw away and what to do with them can be a tricky process. One of the creative ways to declutter put forward by Becoming Minimalist is to walk through your house and make a list of everything that you have either never used or haven’t used in a long time, and are likely to never use again.
Be brutal, you don’t want your new house to be cluttered with useless items that simply take up space. Whilst many things can be simply thrown out, you may have potentially valuable items that might be worth trying to sell, especially if you are helping an elderly relative who could have precious antiques from the past. For these type of items, it is worth contacting a professional valuer or auctioneer.
The internet can be your friend for more regular household items you longer need. The process of selling items can be quite time consuming, however, so you must bear this mind and start early. If you have clothes you want to be rid of but do not have the time to sell them, charity shops are usually willing to take anything you don’t want.
Dealing with items you want to keep
It is also important to ensure that you retain all of your most valued possessions and put them in easy to find places. There are a list of items that you should never, ever throw away when downsizing, such as important papers (like passports, education records and wills), meaningful photographs and expensive jewellery. Essential items like clothes and homeware should also be kept.
Assess the space in your new house to see how much you can keep, and try and stick to this as closely as possible. Put all of the items you want to keep into cardboard boxes or plastic bins, and label them so that you know what is what, as well as the room they will be going in.
The next stage is to put anything you don’t need in the short term into storage. Anything you need or want day to day, such as a small selection of clothes, culinary items and televisions, can be kept in the house until moving day. Everything else can be put into storage and many there a range of storage companies to choose from. If not, see if any friends or family are willing to help you out and take a few items for a while. In addition, you will also need to measure furniture to see if it fits into your new property.
A smooth moving day
To eradicate confusion on the day, MyMovingReviews recommend creating a floor plan of the new house and mapping out where you want everything to go. This will help the moving company know where to put everything. You may also need to reserve a parking space outside of the property.
Make sure everybody, including the movers, are aware of any health or mobility issues so that suitable arrangements to help can be sorted. Allow extra time for the process to ensure that nobody becomes fatigued or ill, and make the move in stages rather than all at once.
In addition, if you have any pets, make sure you have made pet sitting plans for your furry friends. You don’t want them to be stuck in their carriers for too long, and they may slow the process if by your side. If you do not have anyone that can look after them, there are plenty of companies that offer the services to do so.